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The Queen Maud Land War was a conflict between the Fourth Reich and the nation of Norway, beginning in 1961. At the outbreak of the war the Antarctic Germans had only recently made their presence known to the international community, having occupied much of Norway's land in Antarctica. Norway responded by mobilizing its forces for a counterattack against the Antarctic Germans, eventually prompting further escalation from other NATO members, as part of the Antarctic War.
Much of Norway's Queen Maud Land territory had been occupied by the Antarctic Germans, aside from a few small towns and military bases in the far north and northeast, at the outbreak of official hostilities. Norway lacked a proper force in Antarctica to repel the attacks, and as such began the difficult logistical operation of transporting large amounts of supplies, soldiers, aircraft, and other equipment to the territory. Norway's operations were later matched by other NATO members.
Development of the Fourth Reich
After Nazi Germany's defeat in the Second World War, German Antarctica was completely cut off from Europe and the rest of the world. German settlements in Antarctica were forced to become self sufficient in the coming months, as well as begin preparations for an industrial work force. Terraforming devices operated by the Antarctic Germans managed to create farmland on the continent within the first decade, replacing the nation's reliance on underground farming that had been used up to this point. The next step for the nation was the creation of industry to match that of its European rivals, which would be tasked with creating the Aryan cyborgs first synthesized in the 1940's, as well as modern panzer divisions and other equipment.
The largest German settlement in Antarctica, now known as Hitlerburg, became the center of Antarctic German manufacturing and infrastructure, and included urban settings both below and above the land. In 1952 the Großvolks Eisenbahn (Grand People's Railroad), a sprawling underground subway system, was completed, connecting Hitlerburg to the coastal settlements on the continent. The railroad system was built several dozen feet below the surface, and was reinforced by concrete and steel to survive direct bombings from bombers of the time. The railroad itself operated several high speed lines, with dedicated lines for military and supply transportation, as well as lines for civilian use. With the coastal cities of the nation now connected, resources could be easily distributed to these settlements.
During this period mining operations increased exponentially, supplying the growing nation with sources of coal, iron, and other metals. Development of a heavy tank to be used by the Antarctic Germans dated back to 1945, when German engineers began considering ways to improve the design of the Tiger II and other tanks in operation by the German military during World War II. This would eventually lead to the creation of the Panzer IX, the main battle tank of the Antarctic Germans. Weighing about forty tonnes, and measuring 9.54/8.29 meters (gun forward/rearward) by 3.37 meters, the Panzer IX was one of the most advanced tanks in operation. The Panzer IX was armored with 19–21.7mm steel and 10–70 mm RHA and powered by a 10-cylinder, 37.4 litres, multi-fuel engine. Each tank was also armed with 105 mm rifled gun and two 7.62 mm general purpose machine guns. In total about 300 Panzer IX tanks would be produced from 1945 to 1965, divided into three panzer divisions.
In the port cities of Schelfeisburg, Küstefestung, Ritscherburg, and Neumayer production began on naval units. From 1952 to 1954 six Antarctica-class cruisers; the Antarctica, Adolfburg, Schelfeisburg, Küstefestung, Ritscherburg, and Neumayer, named for the six largest cities in the Fourth Reich, were completed. From 1953 to 1961 an additional twelve destroyers and twenty-four submarines were also constructed. The Antarctic German air force was similarly expanded, with one hundred naval fighters and ten helicopters being constructed. In the late 1950's the Antarctic Germans also began experimenting with supersonic jets, leading to the creation of twenty interceptor fighters/fighter-bombers.
The main force in the Antarctic German military however remained the cyborg-animal hybrids, known as the new Aryan race of man. In the late fifties the Antarctic Germans produced a new line, known as the Aryan II. These cyborgs were primarily to be used for combat, and were organized into several divisions within the Antarctic German army. A similar model, known as the Aryan IIB was created as an industrial worker capable of doing manual labor at unprecedented rates.
By the 1950's East Antarctica was considerably less barren, with some areas even capable of supporting agriculture and large scale settlement. The Norwegians were one of the first to capitalize on this, by sending several expeditions to the territory of Queen Maud Land. Several mining towns were established in the mountains along the coast, known as the Torshavnfjellene by Norwegian settlers. In the north the city of Halvøyaby had grown to become a major settlement in the region, as did other settlements, such as Håkonsbyen.
In some areas German and Norwegian operations and territory overlapped, but this was partially masked by general German immigration from Germany to Antarctica as well, which also had the added affect of covering up immigration to Antarctic Germany by European Nazis or Nazi sympathizers. Norwegian settlement went as far south as the Valkyrjedomen, although was mostly centered along the coast.
Settlement of Polarburg
In 1956 the first German settlement from the Federal Republic of Germany in Europe was founded in northern Queen Maud Land, in cooperation with the Norwegian government. Known as Polarburg, the settlement grew quickly with German and Norwegian immigrants, becoming an important port city along the coast of the Queen Maud Land territory. As well as serving as a port for exporting raw ore mined in the interior to Europe, Polarburg also served as a whaling station.
Throughout most of the 1950's the Fourth Reich successfully evaded the international community by operating in secret. The closest the Antarctic Germans ever came to being discovered was by the Norwegians, who operated many towns and military bases close to the Germans. In 1958 a Norwegian convoy was attacked by Antarctic Germans traveling dangerously close to a German settlement. Throughout the late 1950's many Norwegian settlers further south reported strange anomalies in the sky. Most of these were brushed aside as aurora, or other natural astronomical and meteorological occurrences, or as weather crafts. Most of these occurrences were in fact German jet and rocket testing, which primarily was carried out in central Antarctica.
Initially the Norwegians had a small naval garrison on Antarctica, supported by about 5,000 active soldiers, mostly in the far north of their territory. The fleet at Queen Maud Land included only a handful of ships; a patrol boat, a corvette and weather ship, a submarine chaser, and ten torpedo boats, most of which had been purchased from the United Kingdom or the United States. The Norwegian air force stationed on Antarctica was also small or outdated, consisting of 10 Airspeed Oxford I/II's, 5 Avro Anson I's, 5 Cessna L-19A (O-1A)'s, 6 Consolidated PBY's, 3 de Havilland Canada DHC-3's, 5 de Havilland Mosquito's, 7 de Havilland Vampire F.III's, and 5 Fairchild C-119's.
In order to send forces quickly to Antarctica merchant ships were used by the Norwegians to transport several thousand tons of freight, a large number of aircraft, and about 5,000 ground forces. All supplies required for the operation had to be transported to the landing zones, requiring the Norwegian fleet to transport fuel and other vital supplies directly.
Queen Maud Land Task Force
- Honningsvåg - patrol boat/naval trawler
- Polarfront II - Flower-class corvette and weather ship
- King Haakon VII - Former US submarine chaser USS PC 467.
- Elco class - 10 Torpedo boats received from the US Navy as part of a weapons aid program in 1951.
Norwegian Task Force
Queen Maud Land Air Command
Norwegian Invasion Air Command
As the sixties arrived it became increasingly hard for the Antarctic Germans to mask their location, with Norwegian settlers now inhabiting areas near many of their cities. The Fourth Reich now possessed a comparatively strong military in respect to other nations on the continent, and many Antarctic German officials believed the best course of action would be war, to secure the continent before other European nations began establishing claim to parts of it. Conflict was stalled however, as the Antarctic Germans awaited the reanimation of their leader Adolf Hitler.
On 7 March Adolf Hitler awoke from cyrosleep, having been transported and successfully arrived in Antarctica. Hitler was impressed by the progress that the Antarctic Germans had made, and was determined to begin his mission to rise to power as soon as he was healthy and able. On 20 March this announcement came, when Adolf Hitler announced his presence to the international community. Immediately the United Nations condemned Hitler's regime, and many nations called for immediate steps to be taken to contain the Antarctic Germans. The Antarctic German military was mobilized in case of attack, and these forces began patrols across Queen Maud Land, often coming under attack by Norwegian settlers.
This escalated in a skirmish between Antarctic German forces and a Norwegian garrison near the Torshavnfjellene. Known as the First Battle of the Torshavnfjellene, Norwegian colonial soldiers were pinned down for several days in the mountains, targeted by constant Antarctic German bombing and attack on the ground. At the same time a large Antarctic German force had been mobilized further to the west, which was prepared to target the coast, before cutting off this force in the mountains if necessary. Attempts to relieve these forces failed, and on 2 April the remaining 232 Norwegian soldiers in the mountains surrendered to German forces, having suffered more than 500 casualties.
On 1 May 1961 the Norwegian government authorized the mobilization of its fleet to assert its claim on Queen Maud Land, which is generally accepted as the official war of the conflict between the Fourth Reich and Norway. The main Norwegian Colonial Army was mobilized and stationed in cities around Queen Maud Land, in preparation for the coming attack. The Antarctic German forces continued from the mountains to the city of Halvøyaby on 5 May, laying siege to the city. As the Antarctic Germans approached the air force stationed in the city attempted to sortie against the approaching ground forces, which resulted in utter defeat. Finally the remaining planes fled east, carrying a large number of officers and other important people. The city itself surrendered soon after.
Having defeated the Norwegian forces at Halvøyaby and the Torshavnfjellene, the Antarctic Germans now controlled much of the northern coast, with the exception of northeast Queen Maud Land and the city of Polarburg. Since Polarburg was a primarily German settlement, Hitler declared that it was the responsibility of the Fourth Reich to liberate the city, and unite it with the nation proper. Polarburg however resisted annexation, prompting the Antarctic German military to invade on 11 May. The city possessed little to no military, and at this time what little force it had was consolidated with the Norwegian Colonial Army as a volunteer force. The Antarctic Germans were able to march through the city easily, arresting dissidents and establishing absolute control in the city without any major confrontation with an organized armed force.
The annexation of Polarburg was condemned by the international community, and prompted the Federal Republic of Germany to declare war on the Fourth Reich. The world now held its attention on Antarctica, and members of NATO prepared for a full scale invasion of the Fourth Reich to pacify Antarctica and defend the lands of alliance members Norway and West Germany.
With the northern coast of Queen Maud Land now secured by the Antarctic Germans, attention could be turned toward other major Norwegian settlements in the territory, particularly those in the central sections of the territory. The Antarctic Germans launched an operation across the territory to seize all Norwegian settlements and mining operations in their vicinity, experiencing low level fighting with Norwegian militia and armed settlers. By the end of May the Antarctic Germans had now seized much of the Valkyrie Dome, aside from the city of Fólkvangrbyen, located in the northeast section of the dome. The city had served as the central point for Norwegian settlement and mining in the south, and was a considerable stronghold against Antarctic German control in the south.
The Battle of Fólkvangrbyen became the first large-scale battle involving Aryan II's and Panzer IX's, becoming a trial for future battles involving new Antarctic German military units. Approximately 1,000 Norwegian colonial soldiers and militia guarded the city, but ultimately the city lacked the proper defenses to repel air attacks and mechanized infantry on the ground. The city was largely destroyed by bombing runs, with the local Norwegian air garrison unable to hold back against supersonic jets and more advanced aircraft.
The Norwegians were defeated at Fólkvangrbyen, and the remaining forces in the area began a retreat by land and air to defend the last major settlements in the northeast. From Fólkvangrbyen Antarctic German forces began a campaign across the surround territory in search of remaining Norwegian forces, culminating in the Battle of the Valkyrjedomen, a drawn out engagement and series of skirmishes between the fleeing Norwegian forces and German scouts and aircraft. The campaign would prove an Antarctic German victory, although a tactical Norwegian victory, as remnants of the Norwegian military in the region still managed to retreat to Håkonsbyen.
On 3 June the first Norwegian forces arrived in Queen Maud Land, garrisoning about 10,000 soldiers in the city of Håkonsbyen and the surrounding area. The Norwegians prepared to hold off against attack from the Antarctic Germans long enough for NATO forces to arrive and relieve the Norwegians, or until an evacuation could be mounted if necessary. Anti-air encampments were established, operated by the Norwegian Air Force, and several more advanced aircraft were stationed in the region from Norway.